Cameras have been in our family for as long as I can remember. There was a camera present at all our vacations and celebrations. My father took the photographs. He was not a professional photographer, but loved the act of composing and taking pictures.
Boxes of small 4×5 prints fill closet spaces at my parents house. When looking at these pictures, I feel an intimate reaction that no other art form can duplicate. Photographs are an amazing emotional link to our past. In an instant they bring smiles, tears, joy, and sadness which connects us to something greater.
That’s probably how I developed my passion for photography. I inherited my father’s Minolta SRT 101 film camera and it’s the one my daughter is learning to use as she develops her own love of this art form. At the time, I thought the Minolta SRT was the greatest film camera ever made. It’s with this camera that I began to understand the complex dance between light and composition, between shadows and highlights, and the other elements needed to create a great picture.
And while today I photograph with the best professional digital SLRs and lenses that Canon produces, I am thankful that I began my photographic passion in the world of film photography and the dark room. There is no question I am a better photographer because of my film background.
It is probably this reason that also draws me to this art form. It connect me to my parents who live on a different continent. My love of taking pictures comes from my father who is such a positive force in my life. That is why I named my business after him. And equally important is my mother- whose creative and artistic DNA I inherited. When I take a beautiful photograph, one that creates a cathartic reaction, I know my mother had a hand in it’s creation. I love photography because it links me to my parents.
My name is Reza Behnam, I am Owner and Lead Photographer of Shari Photography.